Fuel sector prepares for winter demand

The fuel category remains a strong revenue generator for builders merchants around the country and leading suppliers are preparing for the coming winter.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland’s (SEAI) report, Energy in Ireland 1990 – 2014 (2015 Report) indicates that the impact of the recession on energy demand lead to overall energy use falling continuously since 2008 and in 2014 was 19% lower than 2008. But there were other factors at play, such as weather effects, changes in energy efficiency, fuel mix changes and energy prices, all of which can have an impact on energy use and emissions.

While the recession impacts on energy demand in all sectors, the residential (in particular) and services sectors are also affected by weather, because the significant proportion of energy use in buildings is for space heating, which is clearly dependent on external temperatures. The years 2008 and 2010 were cold, this would likely have contributed to an increase in energy demand in the residential sector for those years, despite the recession. In 2011 by contrast, the weather was considerably milder than 2010 and energy use in the residential sector decreased by 13.1%. Fuel of all types continues to be a significant footfall driver for our industry,. (Source: http://www.seai.ie/Publications/Statistics_Publications/Energy_in_Ireland/Energy-in-Ireland-1990-2014.pdf)

Flogas warms to consumer needs

Retail customers are always seeking cost-effective solutions to control their home heating

Flogas says its Superser heaters are a proven bestseller.

bills and Flogas says its Superser heaters are a recognisable and proven bestseller. “Flogas Superser heaters are the perfect solution for cost-conscious customers. They are extremely useful as an instant, economic and portable way to ‘spot-heat’ a room quickly, as many customers find it far cheaper than turning on the central heating for an hour or two,” said Eoin O’Flynn of Flogas Ireland, the exclusive distributor for Superser in Ireland and the UK.

The Superser Catalytic burns without a flame and has lower touch temperatures, making it safer, according to Mr O’Flynn, and it is fitted with easy glide castors, which allows for trouble-free movement from room to room.

Flogas Gaslight cylinders offer a lightweight solution to heating needs, he adds. The Flogas Gaslight cylinders are about half the weight of the traditional steel cylinders and their semi-translucent exteriors allow customers to see exactly how much gas they have left.

The Flogas Gaslight cylinders are as safe as steel cylinders, he explains, and fit all leading brands of LPG appliances, making them ideal for caravans, camper vans, motor homes, barbeques and patio heaters. The cylinders are available in 5kg and 10kg sizes in selected outlets nationwide.

Positive feedback from Calor retailers

Calor says it creates a complete custom-made solution for every retailer.

The convenience and efficiency of bottled LPG gas means that it continues to be an important purchase for many homeowners, according to Calor. The company says its Calor bottled gas is a versatile, portable and manageable fuel that is easily stored and supplied and that delivers for consumers and retailers alike. Calor LPG has a range of applications in Irish homes, including central heating, instant hot water, controllable cooking, flame fires and efficient tumble drying. Calor retailers can choose from a wide variety of cylinder sizes, from 4.5kg up to 47kg, including Calor’s special lightweight cylinder range.

Feedback from Calor retailers shows that cylinders have proved to be a popular addition to their stores, helping to drive footfall and attract a range of new customers. Customers are also attracted by the range of promotions that Calor runs throughout the year. Calor says it creates a complete custom-made solution for every retailer and provides its retailers with excellent customer support, technical support and a dedicated sales representative.

Stafford Fuels puts customer convenience first

Stafford Fuels is launching its new 10kg and 20kg convenience range this year, covering coal, kindling, logs, wood pellets and heat logs. The new BOPP bag (laminated on both sides) is an effective way to control dust in the retail environment. Dust is a significant problem with the standard polypropylene bag. The quality of bag also allows for six-colour or seven-colour prints which makes for a very attractive presentation. Stafford Fuels have introduced handles to the 10kg range making them easier to carry and more convenient for customers. Stocking 10kg bags of coal on the floor along with wood products means that customers aren’t discouraged by the weight of the product. Stafford Fuel believes in constantly updating and improving the offer for the end user.

Bord na Móna

Bord na Móna has been a leader in designing innovative and convenient quality solid fuel solutions for Irish consumers for decades. A spokesperson commented: “As the largest supplier of solid fuel in Ireland, we are continuing our investment in a sustainable future, with planning permission granted for our new smokeless coal and bio-mass enhanced ‘ovoid’ manufacturing facility at Foynes, Co. Limerick. We look forward to developing new and exciting products in the bio-mass area and to lead the market with high-quality smokeless solid fuel solutions, offering more choice to our customers and consumers. “At the heart of the Bord na Móna range is the Irish peat briquette, bringing value and comfort into Irish homes. Solid fuel continued to be used as the main source of heating for all adults in Irish homes last season. While consumers are price-conscious, availability where they shop and quality are also key purchase drivers.”

Bord na Móna’s smokeless coal range.

The spokesperson added: “Bord na Móna, as the category and market leader in solid fuel, recently invested in the revamping of the smokeless coal range across our 20kg format, introducing a premium stove ovoid and a new Lignite Nugget, a high-quality smokeless fuel with a quick ignition time, consistent quality and suitability for stoves and open fires. Our quality kiln Dried Wood is available in convenient carry home packs and large crates, and is showing substantial growth. Our high-performing firelogs and Eco logs range are well-positioned to meet increasing consumer demand in this area. We are supporting our products and customers for winter 2016 with an integrated national marketing campaign, including tv, radio, outdoor, digital, social media and in-store POS materials to create a great solid fuel shopping experience. At Bord na Móna, sustainability is the hearbeat of our business and we continue to develop new high-quality, low-smoke fuels, which means more choice for our customers in the future.”